What I’m going to see at the London Screenwriter’s Festival / by Heather Taylor

So I’m going to London on Saturday night for 9 days and I’m so excited. Not only do I get to see all of my amazing friends, read through Raptured with the cast, and go to a Woman of the Year luncheon for my work with the riot cleanup in Clapham Junction, but I also get to be part of this year’s London Screenwriters Festival.

I’m reaching out to some of the writers/ producers/ directors who are going so I can hopefully meet up with them (as it’s a brilliant thing to do when you are at a festival).

I thought I’d give you a heads up on what I’m thinking of seeing. Let me know if you are going to any of the sessions I am (we can sit together!) or if you want to go for a coffee on the breaks. So here goes…

THURSDAY:
Pitching session. This is a whole day affair. I thought it would be a great idea to brush up on pitching projects especially as we are looking for more people to come on board with Raptured Season 2.

FRIDAY:
10:30 AM – 12:30 PM: Produced or rejected: Is your script the best that it could be? With Kate Leys
Back by popular demand, Kate Leys returns with her highly rated and standing room only festival favourite session. 

2:00 – 3:00 PM: The secret to your success with Paul Ashton
Do you want an agent? Commissions? Productions? An overall glittering life as a scriptwriter? Then come to this session – and find out the big secret that every writer needs to know. 

3:30 – 4:30 PM: What the comedy commissioners want with Paul Bassett Davis, Lucy Lumsden, Chris Sussman
The seat of power in British Comedy TV is occupied by a select group of commissioners – what are they looking for and how do you get it to them so that they can greenlight YOUR work? Expect a serious session about being funny. 

5:00 – 6:00 PM: How to get a feature film funded, filmed and released in Britain with Richard Holmes
If there is one British producer you need to know, it’s Richard Holmes… 

6:30 – 7:30 PM: 50 screenwriter survival tips with Daniel Martin Eckhart, Danny Stack, Mark Pallis, Richard Dinnick, Micho Rutare,  and (my personal favorite as he’s my mate) David Varela.
Our expert panel will offer their 50 Top Tips in staying alive so you can live off the proceeds of your writing talent. 

SATURDAY:
9:00 – 11:30 AM: Steve Ince: The writing for games lab
This is where I will learn all about writing for games (as long as I get in). It’s still up in the air, but fingers crossed!! 

2:00 – 3:00 PM: Writing fantastical sci-fi with Tony Lee and Phil Ford
Sci-Fi has always had deep roots in British writing. How can you take your love of this beloved of genres and turn that to your advantage? What makes produceable Sci-Fi and how do you break in?

3:30 – 4:30 PM: Maximise your script’s produceability without losing the plot with Sascha Hecks, Angeli Macfarlane, Sophie Meyer, Luke Ryan, and Stephen May
Rewriting and polishing your script to make it easier to sell – small changes make BIG DIFFERENCES. Which ones mean the most? 

5:00 – 6:00 PM: Writing comics for fun and profit with Tony Lee
What can comics teach you as a screenwriter? And more importantly, what can a graphic novel of your screenplay do for you? 

6:30 – 7:30 PM: Social Media: why YOU should embrace it today
Not everyone has joined the social media revolution, and not everyone will – but if you have resisted it, give this session a whirl to see what you could be missing out on. It could be the game changer you have been waiting for.

I’ll be on this panel with Paul Bassett Davis, Lucy V Hay, Tracy Thomas and Andra Mann. I’ll be sharing some social media facts care of the folks at Econsultancy and may even have a free report or two to give away!

SUNDAY:
9:00 – 10:00 AM: The non-linear minefield with Linda Aronson
Practical advice on what goes wrong, right and unexpectedly brilliant when you’re writing nonlinear and multiple storyline films. 

10:30 – 11:30 AM: Sleeping in the slaughterhouse: Microbudget filmmaking dos and don’tswith Signe Olynyk and Bob Schultz
How do you make a multi-million dollar, studio quality movie with no money, and then sell it and turn it into a successful release? 

2:00 – 3:00 PM: The truth: with X-files writer and producer Frank Spotnitz
(this is on the same time as Mike Leigh so I’m torn but I think I want a little background on such a big Sci-fi show)
An in depth conversation with Frank Spotnitz, Emmy award winning writer and producer of The X Files (TV Series and both movies), Hunted, The Lone Gunmen and Millennium. 

3:30 – 4:30 PM: Is the old world dead? Should you be writing for the web?
A new generation of writer is ignoring the established industry and craving out their own niche on the internet – how do you go from a few hundred views to millions, and create YOUR own brand and loyalty?

OK so this is another one of my panels and I’m dead excited. I get to chat about Raptured and find out how others are doing their web projects. Fun times.

I will not let myself think of the session that is going on at the same time with Lisa Albert. The Lisa Albert who works on Mad Men and worked on shows I grew up with like Murphy Brown and Major Dad. I will NOT think about that.

But I may jump into her session when I’m done. If there is no space? I’l head over to “Writing Horror: should you take a stab?” I love a good cheezy title